The Cervelo Aspero 5 Red XPLR AXS 1x Gravel Bike is to go after the gravel KOMs and FTPs we never even knew we wanted. Cervelo engineered the bike with a gravel-inspired lower bottom bracket, longer top-tube, and cyclocross-inspired 700x42mm or 650x49mm tire clearance. The bike begs us to whip it around on rough pavement before diving into uncharted gravel territory. Downtube and chainstay protectors mean that when we get ourselves into rough single-track or chunky gravel, a few rocks flying here and there don’t mean the end of our ride. Geometry on the new Aspero speaks towards the lineage of road racing the brand has made itself famous for. A categorically steep 72 headtube angle and 58. 6mm of trail mean this bike demands we get head-over the bars and dig into the next 25 gradient gravel climb. On the descents, the twitchy feel of the bike is appreciated for getting us quickly back in line and through to the finish. True to the gravel category a lower bottom bracket keeps us out of the wind and longer chainstays mean we can run bigger tires to soak up some of the harshness of the road. A racer through and through, the Aspero doesn’t give us much to complain about between the tape, or should we say between the start and finish line. We’re entering gravel events to get them done as fast as possible, and the Aspero is the first step to that goal. A road-bike-like feel gives us reason to leave our R5’s hanging up on the wall for months, as the impressively light 1100g(size 56) frame doesn’t have any meaningful weight penalty compared to its lighter cousin. Cervelo isn’t trying to replace our cross-country mountain bike, but it might just be replacing our cyclocross and road bikes with the new Aspero.